Despite no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Erie County, health experts from UPMC Hamot and the Erie County Health Department are preparing daily with the latest information and procedures to ensure your health.
Earlier this evening, on JET 24 Action News, local health officials answered your questions regarding the coronavirus.
Dozens of states are on high alert while preparing for coronavirus. Eleven cases of the virus are confirmed in Pennsylvania, however no cases have been confirmed in Erie.
Erie county health officials are taking precautionary measures if a suspected case were to come to Erie.
“UPMC Hamot has taken a very proactive approach as a whole. In early January we actually started with symptom and travel screening in the emergency departments, in patient and outpatient locations, our supply chain is very robust,” said Emily Shears, Epidemiologist at UPMC Hamot.
While local hospitals are prepared for the virus, there are also symptoms you can look out for at home.
“From mild symptoms to severe illnesses and death for coronavirus 2019, following symptoms are typical from two to four days after exposure they include fever, cough and shortness of breath,” said Dr. Greg Beard, UPMC Hamot Vice President of Medical Affairs.
Erie county health officials say the most important tips you can take to defeat the virus are stay away from those who are sick and wash your hands.
Local universities here in Erie are also taking the precautionary measures to ensure the health of it’s students.
“Local universities we have spoken to a number of them and they have been very actively preparing for scenarios of what if’s. What if we have someone that’s exposed and needs to be quarantined and what if we have someone that’s actually diagnosed with disease,” said Charlotte Berringer of Erie County Department of Health.
Berringer added it’s not necessary to stock up on supplies like sanitizer or even toilet paper unless you suspect you have the virus.
Officials however do have some words of advice to offer.
“Wash your hands, cover your coughs and sneezes, clean surfaces daily and if you are sick stay at home until you’re feeling better. Of course always get your flu shots and routine vaccines and visit your family physician often,” said Beard.
For extended interviews and answered questions click here.